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 MxM  Romance  Supernatural  Closed  One x One RP "Crawl Home to Him" { Prox & DappledLion}

Discussion in 'Roleplay Haven' started by DappledLion, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. DappledLion

    DappledLion /Probably/ not a real lion Member

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    Prologue - -
    Cardinal had fallen asleep painting for the fourth night in a row, sleeping body sprawled across the hardwood floor of his tiny studio apartment. It featured a futon couch that had unceremoniously been shoved against the far wall, a small sink, no counter space with a hotplate and mercifully a private bathroom. The main feature of the space was a nearly seven foot tall canvas, the overall theme painted was dark and abstract with half hazard splatters of neon yellow and crimson. The damn thing had taken him nearly a month to paint and Cardinal hated it, it was an uninspired attempt to bring a client's idea to life. The deadline to have a rough draft in hand was steadily ticking down, it was supposed to be his first mural masterpiece, it was quickly becoming an artist's worst nightmare. Although this particular artist, despite refusing to call himself such, had far darker nightmares than not completing a painting on schedule.
    Scattered sunlight broke through thin window blinds, casting bright light along the blond male who had started to stir, a pained expression across his sharp features. Cardinal woke with a startled gasp, breathless and panting, sweat had pooled at the base of his scalp, rivulets streaking down his neck.
    "Fuck." He scrubbed his hands along his tired face, shielding whisky coloured eyes from the assaulting sunlight. Post-traumatic stress flashbacks plagued his dreams more often than not these days, sometimes they were placated by his paintings. Uninspired weeks like this one usually brought them back to the forefront of the man's mind.


    Feeling confined by the four boring walls inside his studio appointment, Cardinal pushed himself to shower and dress, if he was going to be unproductive he might as well enjoy a beautiful spring day while doing so. He wasn't exactly the snappiest dresser in the small city he dwelled within. Black straight leg jeans with streaks of paint and a hole in at least one of the knees, whatever shirt happened to smell cleanest (on this day it was a black graphic t-shirt today, with wild grasses and "save the bees" scrawled in a looping font.) where it came from who knows. Dark leather boots, wallet and keys shoved deep into one of his jean pockets. Twenty minutes later, he was leisurely strolling the cracked sidewalks, to-go coffee cup from the local café in hand. Cardinal had heard two other patrons chatting about the local craft market, he'd remembered the concept vaguely, but it had altogether slipped his mind until this moment, that the event was happening today. Eagerly, his footsteps ate up the distance between where he had started and the first artist booth. Different coloured tents were lined up, in mostly neat little rows, there were at least twenty-five makeshift stalls if not more. A glimmer of creativity sparked in his chest, but the expression on his face remained neutral, or as most people viewed it unimpressed annoyance or perhaps anger.
    Automatically his deep umber gaze scanned each table, in search of new pigments for mixing, if there was anything that was going to unblock his creative flow it would be new paints. He closed his eyes for a moment, imagining the way the pigment smoothed into the binder, the way a fresh paint spread so beautifully onto the canvas. When Cardinal eventually pulled himself from the daydream, the owner of the stall in front of him was eyeing him suspiciously, his unkempt appearance and solemn face would be the reason for his arrest one day. Rolling his eyes, Cardinal stepped away from the table, his hands up in faux innocence and apology.


    After wandering along the first row of stalls with no pigments in sight, fate decided to hand Cardinal a far longer lasting muse. It happened all at once, even though time felt like it had slowed almost to a halt. Long chestnut locks fell in softly curled lock, framing a honeyed tan face and showcasing the most jolting blue eyes. Cardinal felt the thwump of his heart against the inside of his rib cage, electricity spiked through his veins just looking at the striking male.
    I'm going to marry him
    It was the first light-hearted thought that had crossed the blond's mind other than paint in what felt like years. Somehow it felt like the most powerful truth he'd ever experienced. Before he could find his thoughts, Cardinal's body had carried him closer to the tent the attractive man seemed to be showcasing his crafts at. "Did you make these, or were you just hired to make the merchandise look extra appealing?" He leaned in towards "blue eyes", a lilt to his baritone voice, a subtle smirk playing on his lips.
     
  2. Prox

    Prox New Member Member

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    [​IMG]
    That morning, Ranen had loaded his meticulously clean yet severely ancient little beater car up with his boxes and boxes of crafts, excited to go to the town over and peddle his wares. He usually did quite well at these little events and enough people were becoming familiar faces and favorites for him to encourage him to keep crafting. He made knit scarves, mitts, hats, as well as the rare whittling, and an occasional necklace or bracelet, something that didn't require too much effort. He loved to keep his hands busy and often sat in front of the radio, humming along to the soft music stations he liked and losing himself in crafts.

    He didn't just craft, however. He imbued his products with the love and care of his white, wiccan magic. He sealed all the edges of his knitted peaces with promises to stay bound and warm no matter how wet and worn they got and as he knitted, he whispered charms to always be found when needed the most. To the rare whittlings that people comissioned, he imbibed them with their requested blessings. Fortune, favor, adventure, a reliable love, things that he knew he could provide. Fortune could be always having enough groceries until getting to the store next, favor could be able to get almost anyone to like you at least a little, adventure could be finding joy in small escapades, and reliable love was often how Ranen sold 'self love.' People didn't realize that that love was the most relaible of all.

    He also made the more obviously 'witchy' items that sold to teenagers and young adults looking for aesthetic. Little jars full of gems and fake moss that would stay green forever, charms and gadgets that just felt occult though he didn't imbibe those. People liked it for the look, not for real use. Only a few people in the crafting community knew what he was and that his gifts were real and the rest just got really nice knitted goods or little trinkets of kind helpfulness.

    He was hoping to move on to bigger, more complicated pieces since that would help him encourage the bank to loan him money to start his store. Little things were fine for fairs and Etsy, but he needed bigger things for a brick and morter store.

    In between knitting and crafting, he did work on healing tonics and he's become quite the little 'alternative healer' in the area. People would travel miles at a time to come to him for tonics and potents and even some doctors have been known to leave at the dead of night from Ranen's side door, clutching a bag of health from a strange and fey witch.

    When the fair got started that day, Ranen got his tent set up with the help of neighboring booths, people he was already familiar with and he returned the favor. Dressed in a soft cream colored shirt, a long and flowing teal kimono with peach colored flowers, and a nicely fitted pair of jeans with his sandals, Ranen was dressed in his way to do hard work. He was often in flowing fabrics and rarely shoes so he was putting on a show to wear normal jeans though the kimono more than made up for the tightness with it's flowing fabric.

    As he's just about to sit down for the morning, a man approaches his booth with something in his hazel eyes that made Ranen startle. His eyes were like crystalized honey...

    Swallowing thickly, seconds away from smiling a greeting, the man trips him up with the wild and brazen flirting. The moment before he smiled, Ranen's eyes grew steely and he tilted his head to the side, causing his chocolate locks to ripple and glide across his shoulder.

    "I made them. Are you doubting my work ethic because I'm beautiful?" He fires back, the spark of fire in his eyes belying his true grit. He knew he was beautiful but he didn't want to be seen as only a pretty face. Nothing good would come to this man if he decides to play with Ranen in this way. Just as quickly as he can charm something for luck, a little spiteful bad luck can be painted over it with just the touch of his deft hand.​
     
    • Fantastic Fantastic x 1
  3. DappledLion

    DappledLion /Probably/ not a real lion Member

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    Cardinal raised an eyebrow, an amused smirk on his face as he attempted to bite back any sarcastic comeback that came to mind. "Mm, sharp tongue you've got there pretty boy, but on the contrary, I can see from the consistency between all your crafts that your work ethic is impeccable. That's not an easy feat when you're switching between mediums. I'm rather envious, I don't even match your quality in one art form" He ran a hand smoothly through ashy blond hair, standing a step back from the booth to get a good look at the assortment of items. "You don't see a lot of vendors selling this kind of occult aesthetic around here. You must have quite the monopoly on it." Cardinal plucked a black and burnt orange speckled scarf, running his fingers gently along the stitches, his expression softening from wry amusement to calm admiration. The yarn was softer than he'd imagined, and he wondered if it was wool or acrylic, the colour looked hand dyed, but it was hard to tell these days with all the artisan yarn makers.

    "The stitching really is incredible, reminds me of my Kokum... My grandmother, she always made such nice things for all her grandchildren. It was like you could feel the love woven in. She used to call it magic." A genuine chuckle escaped him as he returned the item to its appropriate place. It felt odd, to feel so compelled to tell a stranger that, especially about his Kokum. Cardinal had reserved thinking about her for his most hopeless nights, gently asking her to watch over him with the rest of his ancestors. He blinked, shaken for a moment then bounced back with a casual glance around the venue. "So, do you come to the craft market every week? You must be quite busy if you're here more than once a month." Cardinal's amber eyes drifted back to lock in the sapphire sea that flowed through the intriguing man in front of him. It was hard not to stare, he could imagine how he would mix a custom colour to match those eyes, the subtle greens and yellows he would have to add in. It was tempting to ask the man to sit for a portrait, but the proper parts of him acknowledged the amount of insanity that would be.

    "I'm Cardinal, by the way." He flashed a faux charming grin, wondering how much time he had before pretty boy had had enough of him. "I moved here a couple of weeks ago from the city, the local game store here offered me a job painting their new mural. It seems the arts are pretty important here, huh? I think I've seen more arts here than in the city." Tentatively, he reached out to pick up the scarf he'd been holding before, stroking his thumb along the textured rows, a surprisingly soothing action. "How much? I'd call you pretty boy again, but my assumption is you have a name that sounds far better than that."
     
  4. Prox

    Prox New Member Member

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    Ranen's fuse was lit by this man's flippant words and he took offense to being called pretty like this. It was like this man was determined to belittle him in some way and Ranen may be quiet by nature but he would take no bullshit. To hear this man with his charming smile that seemed so forced, Ranen was not put at ease the way he was sure most were. He could see past the facade and he saw someone dark beneath this charming yet greasy smile. For a moment, though, he softened as the man continued to compliment his work, something he took pride in. His beauty was given to him without choice but his talent and work was hard earned.

    His interest was piqued though he bit his tongue when the man said he couldn't stack up in one medium let alone the few Ranen worked in. What art form did he struggle in? What craft escaped him? Given to stepping in when he knew he could do a good job, Ranen felt the familiar prickle of his control complex rearing up. It only ever happened when he KNEW he was better at something though he had no idea what this stranger needed help in. Maybe it wasn't something he could take over but within reason, he could sell a little muse in a woodworking or tincture.

    As the man picked up on Ranen being one of the only people selling occult aesthetic, he nodded, the sharpness from his eyes gone as he talked about things other than his looks. "The teenagers are very fond," he says softly as if he wasn't just out of his adolescence himself. He was barely legal and yet he blended in and felt incredibly comfortable among all the middle age moms selling hand painted signs for kitchen decor and screen printed shirts made in their garages with phrases like 'Women Want Me Fish Fear Me' and 'Grandma is My Best Friend.' Despite Ranen being between booths that sold primarily to older women with that particular mid-western American rural aesthetic, he always sold his booth out when he came to the fair.

    The man picks up one of his scarves and Ranen is struck by how the warmth of the orange compliments his ashy locks and nearly gold eyes. It suited him very much and Ranen looked at the orange and remembered what he had worked into it. Orange for creativity and joy... If he was struggling, that scarf would surely help ease the road blocks in his head. As the man touches it, he speaks of his Kokum, a word Ranen was extremely unfamiliar with. "Perhaps it was a little magic. Nothing wrong with putting love into your work," He says softly, a faint smile flickering on to his face. Placating him by complimenting his work clearly put him more at ease.

    "I come every two weeks or so. I sell on Etsy, too," Ranen says, the brightness in him coming more and more forward. Easily he reaches to the front of his table to pick up one of the stacked business cards. There was a pretty black cat on a crescent moon with a few flowers and jewels hanging down from the moon's edge and beneath that, the name of his shop. 'Sable Moon', a spin on an old anime he liked as a kid. Any good misspelling on a search engine did bring some business his way, too.

    As Ranen hands his card to the man, he gives his name and he's struck by it. Cardinal? How... peculiar. Perhaps it originates from the same language as 'Kokum.' Just as he's about to offer his name, the man calls him pretty again and lightening flashes in his eyes before he tries to decode it. He may have been trying too hard at first but after talking of his grandmother... He could sense a little more genuine intent.

    "Ranen," He says with that flash in his eye though he does offer a smile. "Call me pretty like a jerk again and you can't buy that scarf," he threatens though there is a little mirth there, daring the man to prove he was more than just a facade and had real feelings buried beneath the sarcasm and fake charm.
     
  5. DappledLion

    DappledLion /Probably/ not a real lion Member

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    "Oh, I wouldn't be surprised if it was real magic she wove into every piece she made. I used to love listening to her tell our stories, while she made whatever we needed. It felt magical to hear her, all snuggled up by the fire place. She particularly favored telling me about the Trickster, the Raven. I think she was trying to keep me out of trouble, too bad it didn't often work." He shrugged with a half amused sigh, although he enjoyed that some of the bristle had been dropped by the man across from him.
    "You must get a fair amount of business then, any plans to expand? I imagine if you're popular on Etsy and here, you must move product fairly well." Cardinal took the business card, toying with the edges as the man introduced himself.


    "Ranen." Cardinal repeated back, a flutter stirring in his chest a warmth settling in along next to it. "That's a very unique name, rolls off the tongue nicely." It was difficult not to smile, a genuine smile while speaking his name, there was something so gentle about him but powerful. It struck Cardinal that it felt easier to be the softer half of himself, while talking to the passionate man with chestnut locks.

    Tucking the card he'd been given carefully into his wallet, Cardinal pocketed the wallet again and turned his amber eyes back at "pretty boy". Ranen's cheeky attitude made him smirk, cute and didn't take any sass, it wasn't often he got to match wits with someone as attractive as well as head strong.

    "I'll be on my best behavior, I wouldn't want to lose out on the opportunity to purchase such a well crafted item." Ranen's gaze sent a shiver down his spine, there was an electricity in his stare that made Cardinal feel vulnerable. It was a peculiar feeling, like he was somehow transparent. Cardinal wasn't used to being rebuffed, or being treated like he wasn't some sort of thug despite never being in trouble with the law. At least not in this town. He draped the scarf around his neck, enjoying the warm fabric despite the day being quite temperate. "So, how much do I owe you for this? And maybe something that's good for art block, I'm four days away from a deadline with almost no inspiration in sight." He kept the, except for your beautiful face part to himself. It didn't seem like the time to be an idiot, although the desire to be was tempting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
  6. Prox

    Prox New Member Member

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    "There is magic in stories. People believed more in magic before iron and steel made themselves the true magicians of this day and age. Witch magic can be found in the old words," Ranen said, waxing poetic on his beliefs on magic. Not only was he a white witch, he was in tune with the spiritual plane and his gifts were real. Belief helped and every time someone came back to him, their needs fulfilled in some small way, they accredited it back to him and bought again. He refused to sell half truths or curses because there was already enough cruelty in the world. If he could add a little kindness, offer a little help, what was so bad about that?

    As he offers his business card and his name, a common thread of lovingly made items that were filled with the magic of love, Cardinal compliments his name and without meaning to, Ranen felt the heat rise to his cheeks. Almost immediately he fanned his face, trying to calm himself and he hoped it wasn't obvious that Cardinal saying his name back to him made something stir in the back of his mind. He refused to believe it was in the back of his heart. Trying to regain composure, he circles back to Cardinal's question about moving product. Was he someone he could sell through? Regardless, Ranen didn't feel comfortable talking about his store plans. He didn't want anyone to have too much hope placed on him and then for some reason, not be able to follow through. Instead, he said, "I hope to sell at a few more fairs. If I could go to like a Ren fair I imagine I'd do well," he says with a soft flash of a smile.

    He does have to quip that any rude behavior would forfeit a sale from him and Cardinal smiles and promises to be good. Smiling some softly in return, he was glad that the orange scarf was what he liked. It would help with creativity and fall was fast approaching.

    "40 for the scarf and... art block..." Ranen starts his sentence with clarity but as the request washed over him, his eyes glazed over and he stared blindly at nothing, picking up on everything around him. Seeking what would help, his hand rose as if in a trance, hovering over all the crystals on beaded necklaces and bracelets. His hand would drift lazily to one side and jerk to the other as if he had been pulled. Without warning, he snatches one of the bracelets off his table, his eyes gaining focus as he stares down at it. Garnet. Oh... He wasn't sure why this one, given what it meant, but he held it up to inspect it.

    Without warning, he easily unclasps the bracelet and let's all the unnecessary but pretty beads fall into the box that it was held in. Now all was left was a black cord with a garnet stone tied to it so it would rest against the skin, not dangle and get in the way. It was almost as if it was a crystal watch in the way it was designed.

    "Garnet for... nightmares and... to attract joy," Ranen said with a smile, choosing not to say 'love' since this man had already flirted with him. He didn't want to give him wrong ideas. "I don't know why, but this one. Consider it a gift to go with your scarf," Ranen finishes, putting the bracelet back into it's little box and passing it over, keeping his hand up to get his money.
     
  7. DappledLion

    DappledLion /Probably/ not a real lion Member

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    Cardinal blinked, a look of curious surprise flashing across his features for a moment as his rationality caught up to the moment. Ranen’s kind insightfulness, despite having absolutely no idea nightmares had been plaguing him, shook the blond a little. Slowly he reached out to take the little box that contained the garnet bracelet and returned two creased twenty dollar bills, pressing them gently into Ranen’s soft palm. “Thanks, I um.. I appreciate it. Hopefully I’ll see you around sometime, Ranen. Happy sales.” Cardinal stifled the urge to call him pretty boy one last time and instead just smiled warmly, waving as he started down the rows of vendor tents and on his way back home.
    When he reached his apartment, he slipped the single garnet bracelet onto his wrist, a calm settled over raw nerves. Within hours Cardinal was absorbed in painting, in a single night he finished the project he’d been stuck on for over a month. It was like parts of him that had been coiled tight, had finally sprung free, loosening the block that had been locked for longer than they needed to be.


    -- Two weeks later --
    The sample canvas had gone over so well with the local gaming store’s owner, that two days later, Cardinal was hard at work layering brush stroke after brush stroke to create the mural on the side of the shop. It was going so well, his nightmare’s had stopped for the most part, the extra sleep carrying his mood well. He’d felt so much better in fact, that for the first time in his twenty four years of life, he was wearing a smile other’s could see. Not that it stopped some people from judging him to be trouble, merely for dressing like a street urchin and painting walls. Terry, the game store’s owner had had to explain to the local police twice, that Cardinal was in fact hired to paint on the side of the building. He’d given one of the officer’s a sarcastic peace sign as they were driving away.


    The weather was warming rapidly, it was another Saturday and Cardinal had given himself the afternoon off to wander down to the craft fair. He’d been trying to lie to himself, thinking, that he was simply looking for new colours of spray paint. But it was very clearly, so that he could try to engage in another conversation with Ranen. The gorgeous honey skinned artisan, who knitted the scarf he had wrapped around his neck and draped over his shoulders, wearing it despite the warmer weather.
    It was hard to be inconspicuous when you towered above most people at three inches over six feet, Cardinal figured a direct approach was going to be his only option. His heart was racing as he approached the booth, immediately excited to see that the striking brunette was indeed set up at the market today.


    “Hey there, pretty boy.” Cardinal teased, with a wide genuine smile. He placed both hands on the table gently, leaning over to exam some new crafts, lined up closest to the patrons. “Whatever magic spell you cast over this bracelet really worked, I actually finished my project on time, successfully I might add.” He winked, being completely oblivious to the fact that real witchcraft had been cast over the stone he was still wearing around his wrist. “I really want to thank you, genuinely… Our conversation the last time I saw you must have unlocked some kind of inspiration, it was the first time I’d talked about my Kokum in years, but I could feel her creativity around me the past week or so.” An embarrassed flush threatened his pale cheeks, but he laughed it off, bringing his whisky eyes up to look at Ranen’s ocean coloured ones. “I’m sure that sounds wild, but I swear, you might be my muse.”
     
  8. Prox

    Prox New Member Member

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    Cardinal passed him his payment and thanked him, Ranen smiling up at him without any tension or steel. A genuine interaction for someone that seemed in need of kindness. His hand being forced to the garnet proved as much and Cardinal did seem a little taken aback by him picking a stone for nightmares. He must suffer in his sleep and surely the lack of resful dreams was causing his art block. The creative orange in the scarf should help him, too. Before he could really say anything more, Cardinal was all but scurrying away, causing him to blink and add the bills to his till, watching the blonde head of a tall, curious man disappear through the sea of tents.

    --Two Weeks Later-

    Ranen, for his effort, put all of his time and focus in to his craft as he always did. He made his living this way though he was known to temp very rarely at a little co-op organic food store. It's how he got the good discount for the luxury fertilizer he used in his garden. He worked about 4 hours a week there, the rest of his time spent crafting for the most part. Whatever his muse desired, he would do. Some days it was knitting, some days he was carving, rarely he would try to do a loom weaving, and every blue moon his true witch came out as he threaded dream catchers. Ranen was a jack of all trades and he enjoyed the challenges of each craft.

    Between crafts, he had another job on the side. Ranen was a hard worker but his work was definitely...odd. People would email him with ailments and things they hoped for and he would take comissions. He was rather good at dealing with physical ailments, witchcraft not even necessary for natural healing herbs but he did boost it a little so it was quicker and stronger. Anything more... particular, he worked on at night, often on his back patio in the light of the moon.

    A whisper there, a hum there, and Ranen would concoct true and mysterious portents. He didn't like using the word 'potion', it felt too gauche.

    His two weeks between craft fairs in the town over were as busy as always and he seemed to glow in the light of his effort.

    When he set up again, he happened to drive past a game store that had a new mural being painted. A tall man with blonde hair and amber eyes flashes through his mind and he smiles to himself. It seems the garnet had helped... That was good.

    After setting up his stall between two ladies of a certain age who sold tea kettles and gardening supplies, he was approached rather quickly by the man he had remembered earlier. Instead of bristling at the use of 'pretty boy', he took it that the man was making himself familiar by words. Ranen was just sitting down in his camping chair, a block of wood with a hasty drawing on it in one hand and a whittling knife in the other.

    To his delight, the garnet had worked a lot and he found himself putting his project down to examine Cardinal. He looked... warmer than he had last time. In a heartfelt way, not a temperature way though the scarf on in this late autumn heat wave was comical. "I'm glad to hear it helped. I think perhaps your grandmother brought you here, trying to help in her way," He smiled, getting back to his feet and reaching out to coax Cardinal's hand up so he can examine the garnet though he did not touch him. The color was bright and warm, as if it had been polished but in reality, it had taken the nightmares into itself and gained beauty by giving peace.

    He was caught off guard by being called a muse, the pink on his cheeks beautiful as he chuckles and waves his hand at the thought. "I don't know about that. But I think I saw some big painting nearby. Was that the thing you were struggling with? The colors were very exciting!" Ranen chirped, the blush on his cheeks not fading though he definitely was excited by what he had glimpsed while driving by.
     
  9. DappledLion

    DappledLion /Probably/ not a real lion Member

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    A grin spread wide across Cardinal's face, the idea of his Kokum leading him to meet Ranen warming his heart. "You're probably right, she liked to weave fate as much as she wove yarn. She swore she was the reason my Dad ended up marrying my Mom." It was hard to deny that it felt like destiny that he ended up here, with the way Ranen's presense made him feel at ease. He watched as the young man rose from his seat languidly, hand outstretched gesturing to the garnet bracelet and Cardinal responded by moving it to be inspected. A satisfied look crossed Ranen's face, an internal pleasure that was hard to read but it made Cardinal feel warm.

    Dropping his arm back to his side, the blond continued to look at some of the new jars that held different aesthetic scenes. One in particular held his gaze and he moved to pick it up carefully, evergreen moss, a small toadstool and a fairy ring of stones the same colour as Ranen's eyes. Cardinal held it up to the sunlight, enjoying the way the light refracted from the semi precious stones onto the glass of the jar. "Oh um, yes. It was what I was struggling with. I only moved into an art career last year, I've never been commissioned in my life. It's turning out quite well though." He blinked, returning his attention back towards the beautiful honey skinned man in front of him. "It should eventually look like neon game characters against an abstract pixel world. That is if the police and the surrounding shops let me finish my work." A wry chuckle escaped him, but it faded into an amused smile once he caught sight of the flush in Ranen's cheeks.

    "You can say you don't know about that, all you'd like but I haven't finished a painting in months. I haven't had a proper sleep in months and suddenly I meet this pretty blue eyed artisan and boom! I'm creating again. Sounds like a muse to me." Cardinal sing songed the last part playfully, ending the little performance with a wink and a teasing smirk. Before he could get in too much trouble though he dropped the act and held the glass jar up. "I'd like to buy this today and I'd also like to ask you out for coffee, as a date." Placing the jar on the table, Cardinal met Ranen's gaze, a calm confidence emanating from his own. "That is if you swing for the same team as I do."
     
  10. Prox

    Prox New Member Member

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    Ranen wondered at 'Kokum,' thinking she must have been blessed with talent like he was. Maybe it was a little, maybe it showed up exclusively in her knitwork, regardless, she clearly had a way of weaving. Though he had said she guided Cardinal here to be kind to him, he did indeed think she had. Well, no harm was done and if Cardinal was a bit of a rogue but a good man, he had to think she was much the same. Cut from the same wiccan cloth. He wanted to ask if Cardinal remembered anything like a shrine, a small space where his grandmother refused to let him play but he didn't want to press nor give away himself. Just because a few locals knew, didn't mean this stranger could.

    Ranen watched Cardinal peruse his stall, all others seemingly disappearing from his view. He was focused on his things and him... Why? Curious, he let the man's hand fall on one of the little ornaments that the teen girls liked. He made the little clay mushroom out of air dry clay and painted them before glueing them in to the jar to make a little scene. They often sold very well and he wondered why Cardinal chose it. Was that his aesthetic? Looking him up and down for a moment, he doubted it but people have been known to be surprising. He asks after the big painting he had seen and the other man, full of mischief and yet a softness Ranen gravitated towards, explained what he was doing. The painting WAS his and he kept getting accosted by the police. Looking at the all black outfit, he chuckled softly behind his hand, nodding that he understood why. "You are a bit intense to look at," Ranen murmured, a teasing grin on his face though it was soft around the edges. He could joke about apperance, too.

    He wanted to ask more about what got Cardinal in to art, a through line between them, when the man does surprise him with a sudden rush of emotions. His sky blue eyes go wide and he clutches at the simple black corded necklace with one beautiful tumbled piece of amethyst attatched with wire by his own hand. "Wh--What?" He stutters, the pink growing darker and already he can hear the whispering of delighted hens beside him. Oh, look, Ranen has got another suitor! Oh! Oh! Another man will be disappointed to hear he's a man!

    Taking a deep breath, Ranen listened to Cardinal, rolling the words over in his head to make sense of him. Ranen knew why Cardinal was doing better but he couldn't just tell him it was witchcraft and not the witch himself that was the cause of it. Blushing deeply, Ranen looks down shyly under Cardinal's intense gaze, almost thinking he was joking by his singing words but the seriousness that came over him made him doubt that.

    He meant it.

    With a deep breath in, he stares at the amethyst in his hand and decides to follow it's advice. He had reached for it for a reason.

    Courage, strength in relationships, a clear mind and an open heart.

    "I don't drink coffee. But if they have tea... Then... Yes," He says slowly, looking up from beneath chocolate lashes to stare at Cardinal with a shyness that almost didn't make sense given how confidant of a shop owner he was. But Cardinal knew how to push his buttons in ways he didn't anticipate and knowing that things happen for a reason, he agrees.

    "I... If you can find some now, you can sit with me at my booth or---" He starts to stay before the women whispering makes him change his mind immediately. "No! Not here! I'll never hear the end of it!" He quickly holds up his hands, the amethyst held to his palm by his thumb. "S-Sorry... Do... Do you want to... have my number?" He stumbles through his words, no longer the endlessly elegant shop owner but just a young adult overwhelmed the possibility that a stranger liked him.
     
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  11. DappledLion

    DappledLion /Probably/ not a real lion Member

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    "Tea it is, I don't really care what we're drinking I just want an excuse to get to know you better and not while you're working." Cardinal suppressed the amusement he felt watching as Ranen stumbled over his words, clearly caught off guard. "I would love to have your number. Here." He dug around in his pocket for a moment, before producing his phone, opening the contacts page before handing it to Ranen. "You must live out of town because I don't think I've seen you at all between market days. Why don't I come back when the day is finished, I can help you pack up and we can grab a bite to eat."

    He shot a sideways glance towards the stall next to Ranen's, catching the gossipy whispers, and can't stop himself from chuckling.
    "Text me when you're about to start packing up, I'll bring you a tea, what kind, black, white or herbal? Or are you one of those roobius tea people?" Cardinal raised an ashy brow, faux suspicion playing across his features.
    "Cause if you're a roobius tea drinker I might have to recind my date offer." He kept a serious straight face for a moment before breaking the facade with a soft smile.


    "Jokes aside, text me when you're ready and I'll come help. I have to get back to work quick here, otherwise I'll lose the daylight and I really will get arrested if I'm spray painting in the dark."
    He waited until Ranen's number was securely in his phone, then sent a little text to the number assuring that he could be contacted when the market was over. Once he was certain, Cardinal pressed three ten dollar bills into Ranen's hand and scooped the little jar off the table.
    "I hope that's enough, I have to go! I'll see you later." The blond waved and made his way towards another tent, the local art supply store had a booth set up with some of their newest merchandise.


    Eventually Cardinal left the market with two canvas bags full of paint, and the jar that reminded him of the ocean of Ranen's eyes. An excited flutter settled into his chest, pleased that not only had he seen the gorgeous young man again, but had managed to land himself a date.
    The rest of the afternoon was spent covered in paint, his vision slowly coming to life as the sun moved across the sky. Every hour or so he glanced at his phone, checking to make sure he hasn't missed the chime of an incoming text.
     
  12. Prox

    Prox New Member Member

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    Cardinal was nothing if not blunt and Ranen was stunned stupidly by it. He almost blindly took the phone that was handed to him, a brief second where he debated putting in a wrong number before he put his name and the correct digits. He thought about forgoing Cardinal's advances, a nervousness in him with how determined this man was but he relied on his initial gut instinct. If Cardinal was a bad man, he could protect himself. As much as he hated to throw a curse around, Ranen wasn't one to be easily triffled with. How Cardinal knew he wasn't from this town makes him blink back to reality, opening and closing his mouth and managing to get a, "Are you keeping an eye out for me?" out of his mouth before the other is already turning coffee into dinner and helping him pack up his car.

    "Wh--White tea or something with rose hips," He says in the flurry of the taller man making plans mostly at him. He's somehow still answering him and reciprocating to his own amazement. The comment about roobius tea makes a surprise snort of laughter escape him and Ranen is gaining more ground in calming down from the tornado Cardinal was. "Quit trying to knock me over," he gently chides, his shoulders rolling back as he took control of himself and stared up at the man with those eyes full of distant skies and the promise of an ocean somewhere not far behind. "I'll text you," he agrees, passing his phone back to him and hearing his own go off once Cardinal tested his honesty.

    Cardinal is in more of a rush than he anticipated and hands him double the amount he would have charged but before he can so much as make change, Cardinal is across the small community of tents to get something and Ranen is left to suffer the swarm of mother hens oh so curious as to what just happened. Even he was having trouble understanding it but he finds himself settling back into his camping chair and turning over everything in his head.

    No matter how much he doesn't want to admit it, he has to stop himself from sending any more texts to the new number in his phone out of curiousity and boredom and sheer desire to understand the tornado of a man.

    When finally the little fair ends at about 4pm, he does as he said he would and sends a quick, "All done" text to his new... friend? What was Cardinal, even?

    With a hum, Ranen busies himself with packing up his boxes, having sold a good bit of things like he always did. White witchcraft didn't stop him from casting a fortune spell to help boost his customer base.

    He'll wander from his booth to his car parked across the street one box at a time, wondering if the man that needed garnet to ease his nightmares would actually stay true to his word. He didn't have to doubt, though. Cardinal was far too determined to lie to him about wanting to see him and the thought of that unabashed eagerness brings a smile to his face that he isn't even aware of as he slowly drifts from booth to car.
     
  13. DappledLion

    DappledLion /Probably/ not a real lion Member

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    Cardinal's painting had kept him rather preoccupied, a smattering of neon pink here, a stroke of rose gold there, adjust the width of the spray paint can, a thin line of white paint to accent a pixel. He had lost himself in the flow of the art, an entirely different world where all time slipped away, and he could have stayed there all night, a slave to his creativity. If it weren't from a little chirp from his phone, it drew Cardinal away from that liminal space between reality and muse. Scrambling to the bag he kept with him while he was working, the ashy blond pulled the phone from it, checking the text he'd received.

    [I'm on my way]



    He quickly texted back, wiping paint from his hands onto his pants, and gathered his things in order to leave. The painting was close to completion, and one evening away wouldn't put him behind schedule. Cardinal fast walked down the street, the market was only three blocks from where the game store was located, and the café sat on the corner. The scent of freshly brewed coffee, different blends of tea leaves and baked goods coming hot out of the oven. He stepped into the café, ordered a white fruit tea for Ranen, an Americano for himself and two lemon pastries so that they could nibble after packing up. With drinks and snacks in hand, Cardinal made his way to the market site, watching as people drifted between car and stall.

    "Ranen!" Cardinal called gently, moving towards him and falling in step beside him on the way to his car. "I got us some pastries to munch on once we're finished here." Once he'd established which vehicle was Ranen's, to insure he was packing the boxes in the right one, he handed the blue-eyed man the cup of tea and the small brown parchment bag containing the lemon sweet. "Here, take a little break, and I'll move a couple of these boxes for you. Do you mind sitting in the park when we're finished, and maybe we can get to know each other a little better." The tall blond took a small stack of boxes very carefully, packing them into the vintage vehicle with care, determined not to damage any merchandise while trying to help. When he returned, he stopped to sip at his coffee, inhaling the aroma and sighing contentedly. "I hope the tea is okay, I don't drink much besides coffee and water. But I asked the barista, and she said it was light, herbaceous and sweet which reminded me of you, so I took a shot." A lighthearted chuckle followed his words. "How was the rest of the market, did you have a good day?"


     
  14. Prox

    Prox New Member Member

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    Ranen turned his head when he heard his name called and Cardinal came in to view. Smiling gently, the man fell in to step with him as he put another box into the trunk. Cardinal seemed to take in the apperance of his beater car before handing him a white tea and a lemon pastry. "You didn't have to get this," he says softly, opening the bag to look at the pastry. Ranen was a little picky about certain foods because he tried to keep away from the overly processed stuff. The lemon pastry looked and smelled home made so it would make a nice breakfast tomorrow, he thought.

    Before he could really thank Cardinal, the man was off to get another box. Belatedly, he noticed how his hands were covered in dried paint and grimaced. "Cardinal, your hands!" He says to stop him, fishing out a small packet of wet wipes that he kept in his trunk for just this reason. Sometimes he got stained and spilled on in a day and wipes always came in handy. Passing over as many as the man needed to get clean, Ranen leans against his car to sip his tea, the pastry bag still in his hand though he wraps his arms around himself out of habit. The tea is pretty good, too, just a gentle flavor that he enjoyed.

    Cardinal wanted to go sit in the park, not even bothering to hide the fact that he wanted to get to know him and Ranen could lie that the pink on his cheeks was from the warm tea but a certain painter was making him a little flustered. He was still a tornado even all these hours later. "We can go to the park but... Why are you so hellbent?" He asks when Cardinal comes back to sip his coffee and take a break. There was only the table itself that needed folded up and it had to be slid in to the back on it's side because his sedan didn't have any more room in it.

    Ranen's question countering the other's about how his day went hung heavy in the air and Ranen continued to lean against his car, face obscured by his to go cup, watching the other with mysterious ocean eyes.
     
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